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Full text of "A history of Persia"

496                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
For this he receives a monthly payment of twelve shillings
from the proprietor, and also realizes a small share of the
crop from the tenants on his own account. There is also
a dashtban^ or ranger, who receives 2 in cash, 1300 Ibs,
of wheat and 65 Ibs, of cotton annually.
The tenants bear all the* expenses of cultivation and
furnish their own seed-grain. The water is provided
free by the proprietor, who on both irrigated and un-
irrigated land takes half the crop as rent. It is taken in
kind in the case of grain crops, and in cash, calculated
at the market rate, in the case of crops which cannot
conveniently be divided. The tenants are ten in number,
and the average area of their holdings is ninety-four acres.
They own eight yoke of oxen. The chief crops grown
are wheat, barley, oil-seeds, opium, and lucerne. Cotton,
millet and turnips constitute the autumn crops.
The proprietor alone is responsible for the payment
of the Government taxes. They are collected in two
instalments, at the time of harvesting the spring and
autumn crops. As a rule the taxes are paid in cash,
but the proprietor may be called on to pay in kind, or
partly in cash, partly in kind. The revenue assessed on
the village is ^86, but the amount actually collected is
rarely less than ^140 per annum. This latter figure
represents about one-seventh of the gross value of the
crops, whereas 1 understand that in the Panjab one-sixth
is levied.
A small income is derived by the villagers from the
.sale of brushwood, which they collect in the desert and
sell for fuel. Hides are disposed of in the neighbouring
town. A few foxes are trapped during the winter months
and their skins are sold at about two shillings each.
Wool is sold at the rate of about two shillings for the
clippings of a sheep. The breeding of poultry yields a
small profit. The women of the village weave a coarse
cloth and also make sacks, but only in sufficient quantities
for their own use.
A Persian Peasant.A Persian peasant family, the
unit of the village and ultimately of the nation, deserves
careful study. The peasant and his wife> living in a